Thursday, 10 February 2011

A (e)pox(y) on your house…

The weather was just about warm enough to do some work with epoxy this weekend and the mast was the first to be worked on. The tip of the mast required a collar of glass mat to give it a little extra strength and likewise the base of the mast is glass-sheathed for the bottom 1200mm, fortunately I had some suitable woven glass mat left over from a previous project. The glassing of the mast was done first with the rest of the mast being given a coating all over. The end-grain at the top and bottom ends of the mast received a few coats of epoxy as it soaked in quickly.

While the first cost on the mast was left to set the dagger board was next as it required a layer of glass over the bottom end of the board before the sides are also epoxy-glass sheathed. The end grain of the cedar soaked up the epoxy even more than the Doug-Fir of the mast and it had at least four coats before I could attempt putting the glass on. Both the mast and the dagger board tip were later given a second coat of epoxy so that all the glass mat was filled . With the epoxy on the mast set hard it is looking good, I will probably run the sander over it as there are a few little lumps and runs that need flatting down before a final coat of epoxy is applied and then varnish for UV protection.

As it was warm I also made up the cedar and oak blank for the rudder, if I can get this shaped to size over the coming week it will make sense to epoxy sheath the rudder and dagger board at the same time. I’m hoping to sheath both sides in one operation if possible but I’m still trying to work out the best way of doing this without drilling screw holes to suspend them. Any ideas?

I have marked out some of the bulkheads on a sheet of ply so at some point I’m going to have to do a cutting out session with the jigsaw. Fortunately the designed suggests a good way of laying out the parts to make the most of the plywood and that saves a bit of thinking time. I have also had a measure of the “bendy yard” (as I am now calling it), it looks like I may have been a little over zealous with the plane when shaping it as the yard is approx 2mm too thin along most of its length. I suspect that this, along with some slightly more bendy than normal Fir is to blame for the yard being to flexible.